McDonaldisation, Masala McGospel, and Om Economics: Televangelism in Contemporary India

Article excerpt

McDonaldisation, Masala McGospel, and Om Economics: Televangelism in Contemporary India.

By Jonathan D. James. New Delhi: Sage Publications, 2010. Pp. xxvii, 232. Rs 595/$15.

This book is set in the broad context of "the changing shape and form of Christian ministry" (p. xvii) in the Indian church. The author, Jonathan D. James, is convinced that in the Indian churches, the pastoral techniques developed during the colonial period are rapidly being replaced by "techniques resembling the American model" (p. xviii). In this context, the book explores the American phenomenon of televangelism in India, reviewing its historical, cultural, religious, political, and economic setting.

At the outset, the author discusses the rather unusual title of the book. He likens global televangelism to "McDonaldisation" because of its standardized, one-size-fits-all approach. "Glocal" televangelism--the fusion of American and Indian evangelism--James refers to as Masala McGospel. And Hindu televangelism, a consequence of satellite technology and charismatic televangelism, he characterizes as "om economics."

Chapter 1 introduces the key metaphors used in the book and also outlines the methodology and the historical-comparative framework of this study. In the second chapter James locates charismatic televangelism in its global context by tracing its roots to black American Pentecostalism. …

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